Tina Fey Addresses the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Casting Controversy

03/04/2016 AT 01:15 PM EST

Tina Fey has responded to controversy surrounding the casting of her latest film, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

The film has been criticized for having a whitewashing problem after casting British actor Alfred Molina, who is of Italian and Spanish descent, and American actor Christopher Abbot, who is of Italian and Portuguese descent, to play Afghans – and it's backlash Fey said she fully expected.

When asked by The New York Times if Fey, 45, had a say in casting decisions, the actress admits that while she was involved, she tried to warn against it.

"I had a lot to say. If you're next question is, why is Chris Abbot not Afghan? – I did beg [the casting directors], 'Guys my preference would be a native speaker,' " explained Fey. "They pleaded their case that Chris [was] their choice."

Fey said even though she wasn't the only one involved in casting, she knew the public criticism for the decision would be aimed at her.

"[I said] 'Do you really like this guy? Because the only person – the only person! – who is going to get in trouble for this is me,' " she said.

The actress said Abbott spent time deeply researching the role in order to portray Fey's onscreen guide.

"No one's wanting to make a misstep here," said Fey.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is in theaters now.

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